Raising public awareness about cancerPhilippine Daily Inquirer
Novartis Healthcare Philippines (NHP) has partnered with the Philippine Society of Medical Oncologists (PSMO), Philippine Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (PSHBT), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Philippine Foundation for Breast Care (PFBC)-Kasuso, Touched by Max Philippines (TMP) and Balikatang Thalassemia to raise cancer awareness and help patients and their family cope with the disease.
The Oncourage Health Information Advocacy, through its expert panel of cancer specialists and cancer advocates, will provide health information and updates to the public, media and healthcare professionals in order to enhance cancer prevention, detection and management.
“Cancer is the third leading cause of sickness and death in the Philippines,” said Dr. Felycette Gay Martinez-Lapus, president of PSMO. “The most common forms of cancer among Filipinos are cancer of the lung, breast, cervix, liver, colon and rectum, prostate, stomach, mouth, ovary and leukemia.”
“Public awareness on cancer prevention is low. Most Filipino cancer patients consult a doctor only when their cancer is already in its advanced stage. As a result, cancer survival rates in the country are relatively low,” said Dr. Ma. Angelina Mirasol, president of PSHBT.
“The DOH lauds Oncourage for helping empower the (general) public and medical community in our fight against cancer. Being informed is the crucial first step in the prevention, early detection and optimal management of cancer,” said Health Secretary Enrique Ona.
“We are privileged to work with our partners in helping underprivileged Filipino patients receive quality cancer treatment,” said Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, PCSO general manager.
“Oncourage combines the prefix ‘Onco’ which means cancer and the word ‘courage’ which describes cancer patients, their family and the healthcare professionals battling the disease. Oncourage pays tribute to and encourages these modern-day heroes. This advocacy is part of our company’s social responsibility to care for and cure Filipino patients with cancer,” said Bibiane Fontejon, NHP Oncology head.
Oncourage is also collaborating with TMF, a US-based non-profit advocacy and patient support organization dedicated to improving the lives and survival rates of patients with blood cancer and rare cancers worldwide. TMF is one of the partners of NHP in implementing the Novartis Oncology Access program, an innovative shared-contribution access program that helps underprivileged Filipino patients receive effective cancer therapies.